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September 15, 2017  25th Edition
Thank you!
  Thanks to those of you that attended the Town Hall Tuesday evening.
I saw Secretary Ashcroft Wednesday at the Capitol and he told me how much he enjoyed talking with everyone. He seems excited about the new program and I hope it works like he said it does.

We really have had only one case of voter fraud, and that was in 1939. As he stated when and if a person claims to be someone else, no one would know until the person they were pretending to be came to vote. The photo ID should help eliminate that problem. What remains to be seen is if the Secretary of State's office will work out a way to get the photographs of those who vote absentee due to an inability to be mobile enough to get to the DMV. Lets give them a little time and see how it works. Do let me know if you know of someone who is not able to vote due to this new law.

Mr. Seittmann, from the Department of Revenue also expressed thanks for helping his department get the word out about Real ID. The fact is that this is a federal law and the state legislature has been slow to respond for a number of partisan reasons. Compliance will take some time to get implemented. According to the Department of Homeland Security, it will help make air travel safer for all of us; and hopefully make our federal buildings and military bases safer, too.

For future Town Halls, if there is a topic that you would like to learn more about, please let me know. Also if you have any suggestions as to another location, that too would be helpful.
HCR 3 — Budget cuts affecting seniors
  Thank you for writing concerning the cuts in care for our disabled and senior residents. These were made as part of the budget process over loud and persistent protests. HCR 3 was offered as a bill to sweep state budget accounts to gather funds as a stop-gap or band aid measure to be used until we could find a way for more funds to be allocated in the next budget.

HCR 3 was voted on at the end of the regular session last May and it passed with a vote of 85 yes and 63 no with 14 not voting.

The Governor vetoed the bill.

The Veto Session was Wednesday, September 13. After some discussion the override vote was taken, but this time the vote was 49 yes, 106 no. What happened to the other 36 yes votes? We may never know.

I have been asked many times why there are so many cuts on services with the greater needs and why is the budget not sufficient to take care of the people. The answer is somewhat complex. But here is my view
  • There have been far too many tax credits granted. Many tax credits are a way of to divert state revenue to a charitable organization, by allowing the individual donor to receive a tax credit of from 50 to 100% of the amount donated.
  • Other tax credits are given to help businesses start up in the state. However, I do not believe businesses come to the state solely for the tax credit. I feel they locate their business based more on availability of capable employees, a good place for people to live with amenities attractive to their employees, good schools for their children, and other environmental factors.
In a report issued last week, Auditor Nicole Galloway, said tax breaks have cost Missouri $5.4 billion over the past decade.
And why are there so many tax credits? Money and Special Interests!
  Too many of those elected to office seem to be looking for their next office; because in a term limited job they know time is short (the most time a state rep can serve is 8 years, or 4 terms). Way too much money is spent on elections.

In my opinion, it is a bit nutty to spend $100,000 to win a job paying just under $36,000 a year. To raise that kind of money requires getting 1,000 people to donate $100 each, not that many people donate that kind of money. Most individuals donate $25-$50 in my experience. (note: in 2016 I spent just under $34,000 to retain my seat in the primary and general elections, with an opponent in each).

As we know money talks. And it is the voters (many voting against their own self interests) who elected those 106 who voted against HCR 3.

I can't stress enough the fact that we should be doing this job in a manner that is clearly IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE. If only those 106 representatives agreed with me.
As always
  Thank you for your support, and for giving me the opportunity to represent you in Jefferson City. Keep in touch and and share your thoughts on potential town hall topics.

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Paid for by Friends of Sue Meredith, Pam Crowley — Treasurer